Apr 09 2014

Why Women Still Earn Less Than Men and What Can Be Done About It

April 8th is the day that women’s pay in the US, on average, catches up with men’s pay from the previous year. It’s called Equal Pay Day, and Democrats and President Obama used the day yesterday to draw attention to the existing gender wage gap.

Congressional Democrats pressed their case for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close some loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which Obama signed as his first act as President. And Obama signed a directive, effectively requiring paycheck fairness for all federal contractors.

But the GOP claim the moves are part of an election year ploy to win over female voters, calling the backing of the Paycheck Fairness Act, “condescending” and “desperate” electioneering. They point out that the White House itself doesn’t meet the standards it is calling for.

The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, concluded that women White House staffers earn 88c for every dollar men earn. The Paycheck Fairness Act has twice failed to pass. Some female Republicans are calling for a narrower alternative to it.

GUEST: Ariane Hegewisch, Study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, an organization that has worked to promote closing the gender wage gap

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